imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ paran-tapa
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.
– The Bhagavad Gita, verse 4.2
The Chaitya Guru, the supreme God, says that the knowledge of the supreme science is imparted through the chain of disciplic succession. So, a guru in the parampara of Krishna gives this knowledge to His disciples and these disciples pass it on to their disciples. The chain protects and preserves the precious knowledge by passing on the information without altering it for ulterior motives and by safeguarding it against the misinterpretations of malicious or ignorant people who interpret the verses according to their limited realization and intelligence. When this chain of disciplic succession breaks, Krishna reappears in the world. He imparts the same knowledge in a way that His devotees understand it. He descends for the devotees.
Even after He sings the song of Truth again, some listen to it according to their perverted rhythm. Being the Supreme He knows that this will happen. They will kill the pandavas and from their ashes they will create five senses. They’ll mine the field of Kurukshetra in the poisonous expanse of their mind and say hey there is no Kukeshetra, it’s the mind; it’s all in the mind. And, they will alter the meanings of the song of God; the Gita, to make it look like their song. He knows that these misintrepreters will enjoy a great following and glory. He watches the drama of His shadowy maya who serves His will. She flames their false ideas who exhibit a yearning of make-believe—a fake desire to know the truth. She materializes their false understanding ephemerally. They fall into her trap. She gives them all the glories of this world; keeps them knitted to the net. She cages them in this world. But, she helps the sincere seekers by bringing them at the feet of the masters who have served the servants of Krishna.
Gandhi misinterpreted the Bhagavad Gita and so did the former president of India, Radha Krishnan. Gandhi said Krishna taught non-violence. Krishna taught everything that the Vedas teach and what they don’t teach. And about violence, Krishna said for the supreme cause it’s justified. Why did Gandhi miss the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the first and second chapters when Arjuna gives Krishna reasons not to fight but Krishna refutes all those reasons?
ARJUNA’S FIVE ARGUMENTS
Arjuna’s Arguments Verse(s) Lord Krishna’s refutation in verse(s)
- Compassion 1.28 – 1.30 2.11 – 2.30
- Loss of enjoyment 1.31 – 1.35 2.31 – 2.32
- Fear of sinful reactions 1.36 – 1.38 2.33 – 2.37
- Destruction of family traditions 1.37 – 1.43 2.45 – 2.46 & 3.24
- Indecision 2.6
Krishna has clearly stated many times in the Gita (e.g. see chapter 10, 13, 15) that He is the Supersoul, the seed giving father of the creation, and He is the Supreme Brahman. But, Radha Krishnan said Krishna is referring to His atma as Supersoul not Himself. Did Krishna visit Radha Krishnan and beg him to correct His words? These two great personalities are among those 700-something personalities who have officially misinterpreted the Gita.
A follower of Arya Samaj told me in my tender years that Krishna is not God. He is just a mahapurusha. Before I could nip his words in my ears, this venomous statement polluted the ecology of my mind. And, it severed my heart from the truth. I began to believe this intellectually, and my heart began to weep in silence. This poisonous idea began to widen the dark crevices of my life. And, I craved to find the nectar that I could drink and know the truth instantly. Once I was passing by the temple my parents used to visit regularly. Looking at its entrance, I ended up whispering to myself let them say what they say, I know Krishna IS the God. I took a deep breath and with it released the burden of an idea that was swallowing my feelings of protection and security. Was I carrying a psychological impression of Krishna being the God? Yes. My psychology has impressions from past lives, too. I carry the learnings of my past lives. Was it a play of Jungian archetypes? Jungian archetypes and psychology are partly derived from the Truth, but they don’t represent the absolute truth. Did I just need a psychological protection from a God who would protect me from bad experiences? At the conscious level it would be a yes because in human experience we’re ridden with fears and anxieties. But at the level of soul it’s also a yes because the scriptures explain that we’re His parts and parcels. So, in our unnatural state of human experience we do need protection and guidance. Who else can protect us if not Krishna?
A decade passed. I wandered from one philosophy to another; one practice to another; one state of mind to another. I switched experiences as they uprooted me. The ground beneath my metaphorical feet began to sink. I was tired of my inner suffering. And one day I gave up! In the privacy of my room I whispered to Krishna, the God who lives in the heart of His pure devotees and in Goloka Vrindvana—beyond which even Buddhist’s void can’t enter—that He should guide me. On my own I couldn’t do nothing! I was ready to begin my final journey.
A couple of months passed. Some synchronicities happened. A question about the purpose of my life began to prick me. I looked up the web for answers. I speculated with intellectuals. I meditated, too. And one day, I pulled out from my book rack the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. I was curious if it had answers to questions that I couldn’t find in other translations of the Gita. For 6 years this Gita was watching my wandering.
This was the seeable beginning of my final journey; a point of reference which I call the official beginning. The Bhagavad Gita As It Is revealed to me my nitya dharma (eternal purpose). And it revealed to me how I should execute my naimittika dharma (purpose in this human experience).
I wondered why this translation of the Gita had all the answers while others were filled with gaps. I wanted to trust the commentaries of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada. I did, actually. I trusted his words before I could know. I wondered why I was so drawn toward his words. And the answer lies in this verse evaṁ paramparā-prāptam.
Disciplic succession (Parampara of Krishna):
10. Jaya Tirtha
17. Brahmanya Tirtha
18. Vyasa Tirtha
20. Madhavendra Puri
21. Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita)
22. Lord Caitanya
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana)
24. Raghunatha, Jiva
28. (Baladeva) Jagannatha
31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
32. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada